Before covered activities can begin, they must be approved by the Office of Youth Protection and Programming by demonstrating compliance with the Protecting Minors policy through the registration process. If you’ve determined your camp, program, activity or event is a covered activity, below is a helpful roadmap to follow:
- Review USC’s Protecting Minors policy and confirm your covered activity will be conducted in line with all policy requirements.
- If your covered activity involves a laboratory or shop, you’ll also want to review the Minors in Laboratories and Shops policy.
- Identify a university sponsoring unit (an academic or administrative unit of the university or one of its schools/colleges) to conduct an initial review of the covered activity and confirm it aligns with the goals, values, and initiatives of the unit and the university.
In addition to planning your program in line with USC policy, it is also important that you develop rules and safety protocols specific to your covered activity’s needs and unique risks. For example, you may need to consider implementing drop-off and pick-up procedures to provide for a safe transfer of responsibility, or coordinate and reserve necessary facilities to ensure that minors have access to private changing and shower areas. And it is always necessary to confirm your emergency procedures are updated, in place, and well-communicated.
After consulting a sponsoring unit, register your covered activity online with the Office of Youth Protection and Programming at least 60 days before the program’s start date.
As part of registration, covered programs are required to provide the following information and documentation:
- Sponsoring unit information
- Details about the covered activity, including a description of the covered activity, including the date(s), location(s), expected age(s) and number of participants, the number of covered program staff that will be involved, supervision ratios, and contact information for the person(s) responsible for overseeing the covered activity
After submitting registration information, covered activities are also required to consult with the Director of Youth Protection and Programming to discuss outstanding requirements and additional safeguards that should be considered based on the type of programming and activities planned. A link to schedule this call will be included in your registration confirmation email.
All covered activity staff must successfully clear a criminal background check before the program’s start date.
- For covered activities operated by USC, the Office of Youth Protection and Programming will provide information on how to coordinate the criminal background check process with Human Resources. Please note that this process can take 1-4 weeks so it is important to plan accordingly.
- Non-university organizations and entities that operate programs or activities on campus involving minors must conduct criminal background checks of their employees, volunteers, and representatives that are consistent with the university’s requirements. As part of the agreement to operate on campus, non-university organizations and entities are responsible for ensuring that the appropriate background checks are completed for their employees, and must complete a certification form attesting that such background checks have been completed. Visit our Resource Library to access the criminal background check attestation form which must be received by our office (firstname.lastname@example.org) at least 7 days prior to the start date.
- No covered activity staff are permitted to have direct contact with a minor in a covered activity until all of the requirements of this section are completed and the Office of Youth Protection and Programming has reviewed the results and approved them to participate.
A comprehensive screening process that includes several layers of screening can help you identify the best candidates to work in your camp, program, activity or event. Therefore, in addition to criminal background checks, candidate screening should also include the following:
- A written application*
- Live interview(s)*
- Reference checks (at least two non-family members)*
*These screening measures are required for all Covered Activity Staff who are not currently employed by the university.
For more information about how to incorporate these screening measures into your process and what to look for, review our Background Screening Guide (which is found in the Resource Library).
Ensure covered activity staff have completed required youth protection training and that evidence of completion has been collected before the covered activity’s start date.
- The Office of Youth Protection and Programming will provide access to required youth protection training/ mandated reporter training to all Covered Activity staff.
- Non-university organizations and entities that operate programs or activities on campus involving minors must provide training to their staff consistent with the university’s requirements, and must complete and provide our office with this certification form attesting that such training has been completed.
- Covered activity staff may not begin work in any covered activity or have direct contact with minors until training has been completed.
For parents/guardians and youth participants:
- Provide parents/guardians with covered activity details, including how to report any concerns to the university and the Office of Youth Protection and Programming.
- Issue and collect any necessary consent forms from parents/ legal guardians for program participation, including general participation consent forms, conduct agreements, image release forms, etc.
- If medical information or other consent forms are required for participation, you must either enroll participants in the Student Health fee or create a CampDoc account where you can collect, store and securely share this information with USC Student Health. For more information about Student Health Services and CampDoc, visit our Resource Library.
For covered activity staff:
- Ensure that any staff or volunteers working in the covered activity read and agree to abide by USC’s Guidelines for Interacting with Minors by issuing and collecting a signed acknowledgement form.
- For USC covered activities, non-USC volunteers must also sign a Volunteer Acknowledgement and Consent form.
Note: A collection of sample consent forms, conduct agreements for staff and youth participants, as well as other useful documents can be found in our Resource Library.
The Office of Youth Protection and Programming will review registration information and documentation for each covered activity to determine whether minimum requirements of the policy have been met, and can therefore be approved to operate. To obtain approval, all required registration information must be submitted and meet the minimum requirements outlined in the Protecting Minors policy.
It is always important to reflect on what went well during your covered activity, and what improvements should be made for next time. We recommend providing parents/guardians with satisfaction surveys to get timely and adequate feedback that will help make your activity stronger for future participants and families.
Register Your Activity
All covered activities must be registered online with the Office of Youth Protection and Programming 60 days before the start date.
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